WJAC Top 10: #3 Nail Yakupov

Counting down the top 10 alumni in World Junior A Challenge history

Jason La Rose
December 10, 2015

WJAC Experience: Russia – 2009 | Bronze Medal
WJAC Statistics: 4 GP 2G 1A 3P

NHL Entry Draft: Edmonton Oilers – 2012 (1st round, 1st overall)
NHL Statistics (as of Dec. 10): 214 GP 44G 56A 100P

Other International Experience:
2011 IIHF World U18 Championship (bronze medal)
2012 IIHF World Junior Championship (silver medal)2013 IIHF World Junior Championship (bronze medal)

At the WJAC: The youngest player – and lone 16-year-old – on the Russian roster for the 2009 World Junior A Challenge, Yakupov wasn’t exactly an offensive force in Summerside, P.E.I., finishing with just three points (two goals, one assist), all in the final two games of the tournament.

After being held off the scoresheet through the preliminary round – Russia beat Canada West and Sweden to sit atop Group A – Yakupov had a goal and an assist in a semifinal loss to the United States before adding an insurance goal into an empty net late in the Russians’ 6-3 victory over Canada East in the bronze medal game.

After the WJAC: The second-overall pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft, Yakupov made the move to North America for the 2010-11 season, joining the Sarnia Sting. He instantly made his mark, posting 101 points in 65 games on his way to winning OHL and CHL rookie of the year honours.

After two seasons with the Sting, Yakupov was taken No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, becoming the first (and still only) WJAC alumnus to be selected first overall. Now into his fourth NHL season, Yakupov is a key part of the Oilers’ young core, finding chemistry with fellow top pick Connor McDavid early this season.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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